Mark Lukes received NANPA’s Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award on July 17th at a barbeque organized by his wife, Linda, and daughter, Lauren, at his home in Colorado. NANPA President Dawn Wilson presented the award and both Francine Butler and Wendy Shattil spoke before an audience of about 40 of his friends, neighbors, family, and former employees.
Lukes’ involvement with NANPA goes back to before there even was a NANPA. Part of a group that shared an idea for an organization of, by, and for nature photographers, he participated in a meeting of a hundred or so photographers at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, in 1993. The Institute offered support for creating such an organization but no one took them up on the offer until Lukes got the ball rolling. His tenacity and follow through were instrumental in channeling the momentum of that meeting forward into the founding of NANPA.
Mark Lukes was a founding board member and served as NANPA’s first president. He found The Resource Center for Associations to manage NANPA through its early years and rapid growth. Lukes recommended the formation of the NANPA Foundation and served as its first president, too. He served on and chaired the board of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has given his time and expertise to many causes, including the Center for Fine Art Photography and Art for Conservation. He’s been a friend to and supporter of NANPA and many in the nature photography community, all across the world.
Prior to moving to Colorado, Lukes was a photographer and an English and journalism high school teacher in Iowa, so it’s no surprise that he was a big supporter of NANPA’s Summit College Photography Scholarship Program and of photography education, in general. Once he made the move to the “Centennial State,” he was enchanted by the mountains, landscapes. and wildlife of his new home. He is, though, probably best known for the business he and his wife, Linda, ran, Fine Print Imaging in Fort Collins, Colorado. A leading fine art print shop for nature photographers, Fine Print Imaging was a leader in new printing technologies and was one of the few “green” labs in the country.
NANPA’s Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award is presented to an individual with 20 or more years serving nature photography, and who has made significant contributions to the field, whether as a photographer or in service to and support of the nature photography industry. Lukes has previously received NANPA’s 1997 Mission Award, 2008 Outstanding Service Award, and was named a NANPA Fellow in 2017.
As NANPA President, Dawn Wilson, said in presenting the award, “Thank you, Mark, for your vision, tenacity, and dedication so that NANPA could become a reality, succeed today, and continue to make a positive impact on the nature photographers of tomorrow.”